Philip Day reaches 75% threshold to take Bonmarché private

Philip Day’s Spectre Holdings has surpassed the 75% holding in value fashion retailer Bonmarché that it needed to be able to delist the company with a stake currently estimated at around 83%.


Bonmarché


The news came after the last major institutional shareholder, Artemis Investment Management, which held a 12% stake, sold its shares to Spectre for 11.4p each.

The sale has come just a few of days before the deadline for Spectre to close its offer for the firm.

The company had initially made its move to take full control after acquiring a more-than-52% stake in April. But its £5.7 million offer was said by management to undervalued the chain. However, a U-turn in late June saw management recommending the deal, despite saying that it was still too low, and individual managers selling their own shares.

The big question is whether Spectre (and Philip Day) feel that pleased to have taken control. The original offer had been an open one, but the company decided to set a deadline on it following news that trading had deteriorated in recent months. 

And with both managers and institutional investors selling out rather than being prepared to retain their stakes under Spectre control, it leaves a question mark over whether they think Bonmarché has recovery prospects.

But Philip Day has shown he’s able to make money from turning around distressed businesses in the past so the chances remain strong, despite the historically challenging retail conditions.

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